We recently decided to take our grandson Braxton on a quick trip to California. We were going to leave right as he got out of school so the night before he had his backpack ready and at the door. We were all so excited. He had never flown in a private plane before so he was especially looking forward to being my co-pilot.
The day of the trip arrived and as he sat in school excitedly watching the clock tick down, I sat in my office watching the weather slowly deteriorate. As the winds, turbulence and icing increased I worried that they would surpass my personal limits. Perhaps the hardest decision for any pilot is to cancel a flight, especially when you have to tell an excited 11-year-old you will have to postpone a trip to Disneyland.
When I made the decision to call a “no-go” on our trip, I knew it would not be easy. Of course there is always the temptation to rationalize and go anyway. After all, my plane is very capable and I am trained for flying in tough weather. If I took the trip it was highly likely we would have had no problems. But there is a reason pilots set rules for themselves and there are very good reasons for never violating those rules, so I made the call. Braxton took the news like a champ and I assured him we would take the trip as soon as it was safe to do so.
One of the most dangerous things that can happen after a “no-go” call is for the weather to improve, leaving a pilot feeling foolish for being over cautious. This can lead him to make a worse decision next time. That is why pilots have a saying. A decision to cancel is always the right decision – period.
Investors often face similar go, no-go decisions. Some investments seem too good to be true. Some are outside an individual’s risk comfort level. Sometimes friends and family pressure us to invest, assuring us that everyone else is making money on it. Whatever the reason, like a wise pilot, investors should set their own standards and then live by them. If a rejected investment ultimately turns out well for others, don’t feel bad about it. Make it a personal policy that every decision to not invest in something, was always the right decision – period.
There is a saying that no pilot ever lost his life in a cancelled flight. Similarly, no one ever lost money in an investment he did not buy. Don’t worry about missed opportunities when you have to call a “no-go” on an investment that does not feel right. Be at peace knowing that, as an investor, you will live to see another day. I have found that the sun will usually come out tomorrow, giving you another chance to take that flight, as it did for us. We ended up having a great trip, and Braxton learned a very important lesson.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 375 E Riverside Dr, St. George, UT 84790
This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the states of AZ,CA,CO,DC,FL,ID,IL,KS,KY,MA,MI,MN,MO,MT,NE,NM,NV,OH,OR,PA,SD,TN,TX,UT,VA,WA,WY. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside these states due to various state regulations and registration requirements regarding investment products and services.